Cal Thomas: Politics Reveal GOD GAP and Clergy isn't helping close it

by Cal Thomas

There have been many “gaps” in modern politics. There is the gender gap, the generation gap and now the God gap, which is the gulf between people who take God’s instructions seriously and those who don’t. Which side of the gap you’re on could influence your vote.

The God gap is growing wider.

I asked Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum about this. In a telephone interview with me, Santorum, whose rhetoric is loaded with religious and cultural language, said, “While (such language) may be upsetting to some, there’s a hunger out there for talking about what’s true.”

How, then, would he explain a recent New York Times story that reported for the first time in our history, that “more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.” Santorum acknowledged, “I’m probably talking to Republican audiences, so it’s a little different. I’m not talking to the general audience at this point. Marriage is on the decline. The culture is changing.”

The problem for presidential candidates — and for President Obama, who occasionally appeals to Scripture to justify his policies — is that fewer people are listening to the voice of God, or to voices claiming to speak for Him.

Not too long ago, a report about growing numbers of out-of-wedlock births would have produced sermons calling for repentance and set revival fires burning in churches across the land. Today, there’s only the sound of silence.

The Times story, citing government data compiled by Child Trends, a Washington research group, noted that the shift in the makeup of American families was likely to produce children who face “… elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.” Yawn.

How is this social virus to be cured when older religious people speak a language and advocate a belief system that either many younger people don’t understand, or do not wish to hear?

The failure to communicate across the God gap brings to mind something former president George H.W. Bush said about broccoli. Bush said his mother made him eat broccoli, but he never liked it. When he became president, he said it meant he no longer had to eat it.

So people who might have been taken to religious services as children are now grown up and many feel they no longer have to “stomach” faith, or conform to a standard outside themselves. Some who grew up in a secular household are spiritually deaf, if not biblically illiterate. A general cultural morality is fast disappearing.

The God gap will not be shrunk by politicians, though to rally “the base” they often talk as if it can. The goal of cultural transformation has historically been the work of clergy, whose “hellfire” messages scared people awake from their comfortable and what used to be called “sinful” lives. But this was before having a baby without a husband became an acceptable thing to do.

Too many of today’s clergy seem preoccupied with building personal empires and monstrous buildings. They go on costly TV instead of investing in the less visible “work of the church,” which is people, not brick and mortar. The first Christians met in homes, not megachurches. They took care of each other and did not rely on government to sustain them. Many pastors today dislike sermons about sin and repentance because it makes people uncomfortable. And so we get instead the discomfort of social decay and an ever-widening God gap.

Materialism and pleasure contribute to social rot. Social rot precedes national decline. These have become our twin false gods; contemporary “golden calves,” as unable to produce satisfaction as the idols of biblical times. Most politicians won’t urge restraint or personal sacrifice and too many ministers allow the secular world to set their agenda.

And so the God gap widens, and the wisdom and understanding of the older generation goes unheard and unheeded.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist and a commentator for Fox News.


More posts in this category


  • Psalm 119 — The Mount Everest of Bible Memory
    Click to Listen Reverend Anthony R. Locke February 12th, 2017 Psalm 119:1-8 (English Standard Version) 1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 3 who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 4 You have ...
  • God Never Leaves a Job Half Done — 1 Thessalonians 5:24
    September 25th, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker 1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.English Standard Version There are no greater promises in the Bible regarding our salvation than a verse like this. That He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. I like the ...
  • Keep Praying! — Jude 1:20-23 by Rev. Justin Westmoreland
    “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.  And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy ...

  • The Powerful Legacy of William Tyndale
    A hundred years ago a comet made of frozen gas entered our atmosphere and made impact in Russia, in a swampy forest in western Siberia. When an ice comet travels through Earth’s atmosphere, the friction melts and atomizes the frozen gas into a trail of flammable vapor that spreads from the Earth’s crust all the ...
  • Father and Son Together Again — Hebrews 1:1-12
    Father and Son Together Again Reverend Anthony R. Locke June 20th, 2010 (Father’s Day) at the First Presbyterian Church of Tucker Hebrews 1:1-12 Apostle’s Creed Series 09 English Standard Version 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by ...
  • 2009 12 20
    Government and Peace Reverend Anthony R. Locke December 20th, 2009 at First Presbyterian Church of Tucker 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase ...

About Admin

Live in Gwinnett, GA next to Lake Lanier Islands. Married with four children. Pastored three churches over 18 years. Spent time serving as an Army Chaplain. Traveled in ministry to over 34 countries. B.A., M.A., M.Div., M.A.T.S., D.Min. BCC with NSC. Covering Georgia and upstate South Carolina

Leave a Comment